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Japanese tempura soba noodles

Classic Tempura Soba Noodles (天ぷらそば)

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 portions 1x


Classic Tempura Soba, buckwheat noodles in a hot broth served with light crunchy tempura prawns and vegetables. (Serves 4)




  • 200ml cold water chilled
  • 100ml sparkling water chilled
  • 30g potato starch + 150g weak flour sifted, mixed and refrigerated for 30 mins
  • Flour for dusting
  • 1 medium egg chilled
  • 8 Tiger Prawns (or similar large prawns)
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms stems removed
  • 1 large eggplant (or 2 small) cut into wedges and soaked in cold water
  • 8 perilla leaves (ooba/shiso)
  • Oil for deep frying (vegetable, canola, peanut or white sesame)



Prepping the Prawns

  1. First, deshell your prawns leaving the tail on, and remove the veins.
  2. Put the prawns in a bowl with 2 pinches of salt and a tsp of corn starch and rub it over the surface of the prawns. The salt is to dehydrate them so they fry better and the corn starch helps clean them out.
  3. After a few minutes run the prawns under cold running water to rinse off the salt and corn starch, you will notice how clean they look!
  4. Dry them off with kitchen paper and transfer them to your chopping board.
  5. Next cut the tails. Place the shrimp on its side and with the tail folded in half and trim it diagonally. The pointy tip should be cut off and be the shorter part of the diagonal. (This stops oil from splattering out when it's frying and it looks nicer too.)
  6. Turn the prawn so the underbelly is facing up, and make diagonal incisions along the whole body. The incisions should be about 1cm apart and go about 1/2 way through the prawn.
  7. You should be able to lay out the prawn flat and straight.
  8. Repeat for the rest of your prawns.


  1. Preheat your oil to 180C (356F).
  2. Take the chilled water and sparkling water from the fridge and pour them into a bowl.
  3. Add one medium chilled egg and whisk. Remove any foam with a spoon.
  4. Take the flour and starch from the fridge and add it to the bowl one third at a time. Mix roughly between each addition. (It's fine to have lumps.)
  5. Dry your prawns and vegetables, then lightly coat them in potato starch or plain flour. Dust off any excess.
  6. Test your oil by adding a drop of batter, if it floats and sizzles it's ready to start cooking.
  7. Dip each ingredient in the batter and then place it in the oil. Be careful not to overcrowd the pot. (I recommend cooking each type of ingredient together in batches rather than mixing them. Example: Shiso leaves batch, aubergine batch, shrimp batch etc.) Keep the batter in the fridge between batches.
  8. Once the batter puffs up and becomes crispy, remove the tempura from the pot before they become golden. Place on a wire rack to allow the excess oil to drop off.
  9. Repeat until all your tempura is cooked.


  1. Boil your soba noodles in a separate pot, follow the instructions on the packaging.
  2. Bring 1 litre of dashi to a boil and then add 5 tbsp soy sauce and 2 tbsp mirin. Allow to boil for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and add 1/2 tsp salt. Mix.
  4. Once the soba noodles are ready, pour them into a colander and then run them under cold water and divide them into serving bowls.
  5. Pour the broth over the top of the noodles.
  6. Place the tempura on top of the noodles and then garnish with spring onions and kamaboko.
  7. For an added kick, sprinkle with Japanese shichimi powder.
  8. Enjoy!


Be careful not to let the tempura turn golden, real tempura is very light in color.

For specific tips on how to make crispy tempura, check the post above.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Chilling time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Noodles
  • Method: Boiling and Deep Fry
  • Cuisine: Japanese

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